Here are some workarounds for DMR-ES40V design flaws/bugs:
EARLY A.M. SCHEDULED RECORDING WORKAROUND. Schedule a brief recording beginning shortly before midnight, say 11:59 p.m., and ending shortly after midnight, say 12:01 a.m., AHEAD of any timer scheduled recording in the wee hours.
DAILY OR WEEKLY SCHEDULED RECORDING WORKAROUND. Timer scheduling of weekly or daily programs (say Monday-Friday programs, every Tuesday programs, & etc.) is unreliable with a DMR-ES40V. USE ACTUAL DATES WHEN SCHEDULING ALL PROGRAMS.
RATINGS AND PASSWORD WORKAROUND. Once my DMR-ES40V changed it’s viewer ratings on its own, locking up the machine so that it would not play any DVD. It gave an error message. The DMR-ES40V had reset the “rating” by itself to a low number (1 or 2) that is very restrictive. When I attempted to change the “rating” back to the “8” default (in the FUNCTIONS, OTHER FUNCTIONS, SETUP, DISC, SETTINGS FOR PLAYBACK, RATINGS) I was asked for my password. I was the only user of this machine and I had never set a password. Nothing I tried would allow me to use the machine. Here is the workaround Panasonic gave me: Power unit on. Open DVD tray. Press and hold REC and PLAY on the machine for over 5 seconds. If done correctly the DVD tray will remain open. The ratings password setting will return to the default (no password). The rating will return to the “8” default.
CRASHING. My DMR-ES40V crashed often, especially when attempting to finalize its own discs (ruining them). I soon learned that it was always better to finalize its discs on my other Panasonic models. The machine regularly needed to be unplugged from the power strip in order to regain its control.
Despite the DMR-ES40V design flaws (uncorrected by the firmware update) I continued to purchase other Panasonic models including: DMR-ES30V, DMR-ES35V and DMR-ES15. With extensive use of these other Panasonics I deem these to be very reliable products.
Our DMR-ES40V is now primarily used as a VHS/DVD [I]player[/I].